Meet the Executive Team

​​​​​​​​​​​Robert Taylor​​

Deputy Secretary of State

Robert Taylor, Deputy Secretary of State
​​As Deputy, Robert oversees the day-to-day operations of the business divisions under the Secretary's responsibility: Audits, Corporation, Elections, and State Archives. Having served as the Secretary of the Senate for the Oregon Legislature for three years, he’s uniquely qualified at consensus-building and business streamlining. He received his law degree from Willamette University and Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in Rhode Island. Robert practiced law at a Portland firm, but it was a stint at the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C., that sparked his passion for public service. A native Oregonian and son of Grants Pass, Robert enjoys coaching his son's athletic teams, chasing his toddler daughter around the house, and catching up with his wife between carpools.​

​​​​​​​​​​​Mary Wenger​

Interim Audits Director

Mary Wenger
​​Mary is responsible for all state audits and auditors. She began working for the Office of the Secretary of State in 1990, following four years with the California Office of the Auditor General where she performed financial and performance audits. Mary graduated from Oregon State University in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting, and has been a certified public accountant in the State of Oregon since 1990.

Jeff Morgan

Director, Business Services Division

Jeff Morgan, Business Services Division Director
​​Jeff manages the business and administrative support center for the agency. This includes budgeting, purchasing, safety and risk management, and sales of Secretary of State publications. With over 33 years in public service, most with the State of Oregon, Jeff has filled roles in five state agencies. In addition to a Certificate in Public Management from Willamette University, Jeff is a Certified Public Purchasing Officer and Certified Professional Public Buyer. He's a guitarist and rocks a mean Les Paul.

​​​​​​Peter Threlkel

Director, Corporation Division

Peter Threlkel, Corporation Division Director

As director, Peter leads the formation of business in our state. He manages the registration of businesses for the Secretary of State. A strategic thinker and tireless doer, Peter was an important force behind Business Xpress, Oregon’s all-in-one business portal. Prior to entering Oregon public service, he held leadership positions with U.S. Bank. While Peter has a well-earned reputation as a deep thinker, he’s also a deep diver: He enjoys scuba diving and has explored reefs in Hawaii, Mexico and the Northwest. He earned a Certificate of Public Management/Public Administration from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University. Peter has a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Western Oregon University.​

Ruth Miles

Small Business Advocate, Office of the Secretary of State

Ruth Miles, Small Business Advocate, Corporation Division

Ruth works collaboratively with small businesses, nonprofits, state and local government to help streamline and improve Oregon’s business climate. She brings a unique combination of public and private sector experience to her work in the Secretary’s Office of Small Business Assistance. With 18 years of experience running small businesses, Ruth understands first-hand the challenges that entrepreneurs face. An avid kayaker, she comes to the Secretary of State after nine years in the legislative branch, where she helped constituents navigate the shifting waters and complexities of state government.

​​​​​​​​​​​Brenda Bayes​

Interim Elections Director

Brenda Bayes
Brenda is responsible for overseeing the conduct of elections throughout the 36 counties in Oregon. She is in charge of voter registration, state initiative and referendum and candidate processes, campaign finance reporting and the production and distribution of the state voters’ pamphlet distributed to approximately 1.7 million households for each primary and general election. Brenda has been with the Elections Division since 1991. Prior to coming to the Elections Division Brenda was the Customer Service Manager for InterLink Communications. Brenda is a nationally Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA), and has earned a Certificate of Public Management/Public Administration from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University. Brenda enjoys spending time with family, the outdoors and playing a round of golf.

Jackie Steffens​

Director, Human Resources Division

Jackie Steffens, Human Resources Division Director

Jackie provides leadership in developing and executing human resources strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the agency, specifically in the areas of talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, training and development. During her 25 years in the human resources field, she’s worked for the Oregon Department of Justice, Pitney Bowes and General Electric. Jackie has earned her Senior Professional in Human Resources certification. Her dog, Myles, a Hungarian Vizsla, is the toast of her neighborhood.

Chris Molin​​

Director, Information Services Division

Chris Molin, Information Services Division Director

The agency’s Chief Information Officer, Chris manages all information technology resources by providing leadership and support to Secretary of State divisions in the planning, development, functionality, and maintenance of networks, computing resources, and Web applications. He draws on over 20 years of experience implementing and managing enterprise and integrated solutions in both the public sector (SoS, U.S. Air Force) and private sector (SAIC). The employees under Chris’s direction provide an array of technical services, including project management, software development, and network, database and computer systems administration and support. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management and an Associate of Arts in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. After a long workday in the digital domain, Chris retreats to his den to unwind, analog style, by spinning vinyl records on his vintage stereo. Family time is spent exploring Oregon’s majestic natural beauty.

​​​​​​Mary Beth Herkert

Director, State Archives Division

As State Archivist, Mary Beth is in charge of records management and reference services for the state. The Oregon Administrative Rules – the rules all agencies must abide by – are part of her division’s portfolio, and she oversees publication of the Blue Book, the state directory and almanac. Mary Beth was appointed State Archivist in 2006 after serving in the Archives Division for many years. She holds a master’s in history from the State University of New York at Albany and is a Certified Records Manager. Born and raised in Buffalo, Mary Beth is a die-hard Bills fan who hopes to see the team win the Super Bowl in her lifetime.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​